Saturday 24 March 2018

Gene Kerrigan: In fairness, Brian, it's all a smokescreen

Cowen should stop using others as co-conspirators in his economic ineptitude, writes Gene Kerrigan

Gene Kerrigan

Gene Kerrigan

With any other politician, Brian Cowen's media blitz would be seen as a clumsy charm offensive. With Mr Cowen, there's little charm and what he has to say is far too bloody offensive. He manipulates our view of the past because he needs credibility to manage our response to the brutal cuts coming later this year.

Over the past few days the Taoiseach has shuffled from the lecture podium to the radio studio to a mass "briefing" of the media's senior service. Some of what he says makes sense. Most of it consists of frayed soundbites from the sad fantasy Ireland wherein he was a wise leader in a country peopled by kickass entrepreneurs and banking wizards.

After the 7,200-word speech there were carefully worded alibis, and artfully dodged questions. The idea seems to be to create, by sheer weight of words, an alternative narrative in which Mr Cowen and his party are misunderstood patriots who only did what we demanded of them. He ruefully admits he was a little slow in applying the masterly stewardship of the economy that took us back from the brink.

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